After taking on the best forward in the Patriot League Wednesday night, the women’s soccer will now have to face one of the best in the Ivy League, as the Red welcomes senior Katy Cross and the Penn Quakers to Berman Field Saturday.
“They’re an excellent team,” said head coach Berhane Andeberhan. “They probably have the best forward in our league.”
Dealing with talented offensive players is something that Cornell (4-2-2, 1-0 Ivy) should now be used to. On Wednesday, Colgate’s Franny Iacuzzi — who leads the Patriot League in scoring — netted two early goals, and the booters were unable to respond in the 2-0 loss
“For the first 15 to 20 minutes [of the game], we were standing like statues, and Colgate was buzzing around us,” Andeberhan said. “Once we woke up, we absolutely played as well as we can play. That’s an experience, another thing to learn. We need to stay on an even keel, especially against a good team.”
The Red had a number of offensive opportunities in the second half. But Cornell had trouble converting on its chances, and the booters’ early mistakes were enough to cost them the game.
“It was two good teams playing for 70 minutes. Unfortunately they scheduled the game for 90 minutes,” Andeberhan quipped. “We had difficulty scoring, but we were generating a lot of offense. We dominated the midfield, and we were sitting in their half for most of the later minutes.”
Playing well for a full 90 minutes will be of great importance against Penn (3-4-1, 1-0 Ivy), one of the best teams in the Ivy League. The Quakers have played a very difficult schedule so far this year, including three matches against Top 25 teams. After beating Harvard on Sunday, the Quakers — 3-3-1 in the Ivy League last year — will look to make a run for the Ivy title this time around.
Penn’s superstar forward Cross has scored four goals this year, including two game winners, and she also has four assists. The 2002 Ivy League Player of Year rarely takes a bad shot, and this year she has a remarkable .812 shots on goal percentage.
Cross is joined on the frontline by senior forward Rachelle Snyder. Snyder has two goals and three assists this year, and the tandem give Penn an experienced, formidable offensive attack.
However, the young Cornell defense, led by senior Natalie Dew, has given up only five goals this year. Freshman Leslie Campbell, one the Red’s top recruits, has played like a veteran at the sweeper position. Senior Katie Thomas and sophomore Katrina Matlin have shared goalkeeping work, earning a combined four shutouts this season.
The Quakers have played some of the nation’s best teams this year. Penn nearly defeated No. 9 Texas A&M on Sept. 5, but the Aggies were able to earn a 3-2 win. Penn then took No. 18 Villanova into double-overtime on Sept 12, before the Wildcats won 2-1. Finally, 10th ranked California beat Penn 2-0 on Sept 17.
In Sunday’s 2-1 win over Harvard, Quaker senior goalie Anna Halse had eight saves, and Cross scored the golden goal to get the win. Penn defeated La Salle Wednesday, in a 2-1 double-overtime contest.
Cornell opened its Ivy season last Saturday, earning a 2-1 win over Columbia and will look to extend its Ivy win streak this weekend.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer